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Pre Playoffs Interview with Head Coach Matt Emmert

calendario 03.07.2021
by: Matt Emmert
  • California
  • Semi-Pro
  • Spring
  • United States
Pre Playoffs Interview with Head Coach Matt Emmert

Here is an interview with the head coach of Rebels SC Matt Emmert and his thoughts before the team's playoff match. 

Question: Matt, have you seen a winning attitude in training this week? Do the players see the potential to go further in the playoffs than last season?

Matt: Absolutely. From the moment the last game ended (a 2-1 loss to Mayas), I could tell the guys were ready. No one made any excuses, but to a man they readily acknowledged areas to improve for this game. Our minimum target this spring was to reach the playoffs and improve on last year’s [Fall 2019] regular-season finish, but no one here is satisfied with the minimum. We know we’re capable of more.

Q: What has been the impact of the recent defeat to Mayas?

M: Now we have the experience of playing against Mayas twice in the past several months (a 3-2 victory in Eastlake Cup and a 2-1 loss in UPSL) and we know how focused we need to be in certain moments of the game. We already know how to go hard for the entire game, as evidenced by our scoring late goals both times. So it’s just a matter of not allowing our concentration to slip.

Q: What will be needed to get a win over Mayas this weekend?

M: We need the ball to not the post! Of course in the last game, we were very unfortunate to not be up 2-1 at the half since we hit the post twice on open shots inside the box. I’m glad that we got those out of the way since that regular-season game ultimately had no impact on the playoff seeding. But as I mentioned, we had not seen them since the Eastlake Cup, where I think we were the better team for much of that game, and we now understand the focus and commitment we need for ninety-plus minutes.

Q: Would a win this weekend be the biggest highlight since the team started?

M: Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, we’ve met our initial goal of having a better record than in the Fall 2019 and finished one place higher than that season. The division is significantly stronger than in Fall 2019 as well. I’m also really happy with how we’ve played in the second half of this season: 4-1 record, 18 goals for, 3 against. Those are really good numbers and give a nice snapshot of how well we’ve been playing. Of course even more exciting is that we’re in the playoffs and still in contention to advance to the national playoffs.

Q: Any thoughts on the other playoff game (#1 United City vs #4 Murrieta)?

M: For me, United City is a strong team. Physically very strong, very aggressive in their play. The type of team that plays on the edge with some of their physical play. And Murrieta is very fit, with a lot of good technical players who move the ball quickly and show some interesting positioning. While United City has been solid all season, they had close games against Murrieta, Mayas, Internacional. And Murrieta not only had a close result against United City but beat and tied Mayas in the last month. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that United City win. It should be a good game between two solid teams.

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